New York City - Setting aside a long-held tradition, the New York Times has invited an actual public school teacher to participate in their upcoming "Schools of Tomorrow" conference.
Elaine Doctris, who teaches fifth graders at PS 800 in Queens, is the chosen one. "I'm honored and a little confused," she confessed. "I mean they've never asked a public school teacher to speak before. I hope it isn't a mistake."
According to Kirstie Hepburn, one of the event's organizers, picking Ms. Doctris was no mistake. "We used New York City's Teacher Data Release to obtain the names of public school teachers. Then we dumped all the names into a giant hat and picked one. You know, kind of like 'The Hunger Games.'"
Teachers are infamous for slowing up corporate-driven discussion panels by providing facts, suggesting methods be tested before implementation and by sharing real life experiences. So why did the Times have a change of heart and include an educator? Ms. Hepburn admitted, "Teachers are really good at whining and frankly we just got tired of them complaining on their blogs about not being included at this event."
While incessant whining may have finally resulted in a begrudging invitation, it is still unclear if Ms. Doctris will attend. "I really want to go but it's on a Thursday, during the day, at the beginning of the school year. I'm not sure it's fair to my students," she explained. May the odds be always in your favor, Elaine.
In related news, the New York Times is also reportedly toying with the idea of inviting practicing physicians to its annual "Future of Medicine" conference. Scheduled speakers to this event currently include: GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty, Pfizer Chairman of the Board and CEO Ian Read and celebrity/oxycontin user Rush Limbaugh.